Uggh Just when the Cubs were looking great, they take a step back. Look, I know its hard to sweep any major league team, and I know that you can’t win’em all. It’s just the way we lost this game that was irritating. It was just a bunch of bad baseball, and Ted Lilly is not making Cubs fans any less nervous. After being a hero the other night, Mike Fontenot also stunk it up. Even the coaching was a mess. All in all, a pretty crummy day.
All though the box score show that Lilly had a bad game, six hits, five runs, and three walks in six innings, he at least looked better than he did in last Saturday’s loss to the Phillies. The walks really hurt him and Joey Votto really hurt him. Like last Saturday, Lilly was cruising
through the first three innings, giving up only one walk and one hit. And like last Saturday, the fourth inning killed him. He got Griffey to strikeout to lead off the inning, but then walked Adam Dunn, gave up a single to Jeff Keppinger, and then walked Edwin Encarnacion to load the bases. Votto than doubled, clearing the bases. With the Cubs still in the game down only 3-1, Lilly got Keppinger to ground out to lead off the sixth. Encarnacion doubled, and than Votto hit a home run to give the Red a 5-1 lead. The scary thing is that it doesn’t seem like Lilly has his velocity where it needs to be. He’s not going to get to many major league hitters out with an 86 mile per hour fastball out.
It’s baffling,” he said. “My confidence is still there, for the most part. Obviously I’m not as confident as if I were 4-0, but I still feel good about what I’m capable of doing. I’m just losing patience as far as wanting to give us a solid outing and a chance to win. I certainly owe that to my teammates.”
Not like the offense was much better. After getting so many clutch hits the last few days, the Cubs fell short on Thursday. The Cubs went 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position. Fontenot, Fukudome, and Henry Blanco all struggled today and left way too many men on
base. Fontenot went 0-5, leaving seven men on base. Fukudome went 0-4, leaving 4 men on base. Blanco was 1-4, leaving seven men on base. Theriot and Lee were’nt much better, both going 1-5. It was the first time the Cubs saw Reds pitcher Edison Volquez, but they also didn’t hit the Reds’ bullpen either. There were tons of missed opportunities to blow the game open and shift momentum. The Cubs had the bases loaded and only one out in the bottom of the second, when Henry Blanco struck out. Lilly was up next and drew a walk, giving the Cubs a 1-0 lead. Fontenot grounded out to end the inning. In the third inning, Theriot singled to lead off the inning, but that vanished when Volquez struck out Lee and Theriot was caught stealing. In the fourth inning, DeRosa walked and Reed Johnson singled, putting runner at first and second with no outs. For some reason, Henry Blanco, batting in front of the pitcher Lilly, struck out attempting to bunt.
I don’t know what happened there,” Piniella said. “We never had the bunt sign on the whole at-bat. I thought Henry might be trying to leg out a bunt single or something. I don’t know exactly what happened. Obviously it was just a mix-up in signs.”
“We miscommunicated on the first pitch,”Third base coach Mike Quade said. “Because of our series of signs, that messed up the rest of the entire at-bat. Whether the bunt was on, the bunt wasn’t on. Whether we were playing hit-and-run, we weren’t playing hit-and-run. Henry is one of the most reliable guys on this club. He doesn’t miss signs. He gets everything. He has executed the hit-and-run, the squeeze, all of that.”
With the Cubs only down 5-2 in the bottom of the sixth, Fukudome grounded out. DeRosa singled and Johnson doubled, putting runners at second and third with one out. Blanco reached on an infield single, making it 5-3, but Johnson couldn’t advance to third. With runners still at first and second and only one out, pinch hitter Daryl Ward flied out and Fontenot grounded out to end the threat.
Then, in the top of the seventh, the defense fell apart. Jon Lieber came in and Norris Hopper to ground out to Theriot, but Ryan booted the ball and Hopper reached on the error. Then, Ryan Freel bunted to move Hopper to second, but with Lieber and Lee playing the bunt, Fontenot forgot to cover first and everyone was safe. With the wind blowing to right center, Ken Griffey Jr hit home run number 596, making it 8-2 and ending any chances for the sweep.
Fontenot has been struggling since being moved to the leadoff spot after Soriano’s injury, going 2-for-15. I wonder if it wouldn’t be better if Reed Johnson hit lead off and Theriot or Fukudome hitting second. I guess there is no need to panic since it was only one game. What is making me panic is that Rich Hill will be making the next start for the Cubs as they open the next series against the Pirates and Ian Snell, who is having a terriffic season so far. You know the Pirates want to kick some Cubbie butt after we swept them at home. We missed Snell last time too.
Marty Brennaman went off on Cubs fans after the ball throwing incident Wednesday night. After Adam Dunn hit a homer, people started throwing balls onto the field. I wasn’t happy that Cubs fans did it, but Brennaman took it a step too far. Brennaman said ;
“This is the kind of thing that makes you want to see this Cubs team lose. Among all baseball fans….far and away the most obnoxious fans in baseball in this league are those that follow this team right here.
That is so typical of Chicago Cubs fans (throwing the balls onto the field)
You simply root against them. I’ve said all winter, they talk about this team winning the division and my comment is they won’t win because at the end of the day, they are still the Chicago Cubs and they will figure out a way to screw this whole thing up.”
Screw you Brennaman and the high horse you rode in on. You are now considered an enemy of Cubs fans everywhere. I agree with you that it was stupid of those fans to throw the balls on the field, but you had no right to blast all Cubs fans. This is not over old man. I look forward to the next Cubs Reds game I go to so I can heckle you in the booth. Your cranky old *** is not welcomed at Wrigley anymore and remember, Cubs fans have a long memory. Maybe if the Reds knew how to draw fans, you might realize that there are always a few bad apples in the bunch . Cubs fans in general, are smart, caring, and loyal fans.You sound just as idiotic as your smug, idiotic buddy Joe Morgan. This isn’t over Brennaman, not by a long shot.